43 Yrs Old 36 BMI in Texas I'm So Ready for This! - Dallas, TX

I am one week away from my surgery day, which is...

I am one week away from my surgery day, which is scheduled for 12-21-15.
My surgeon is Dr. Chad Carlton with the Nicholson Clinic.
I am having a VSG with a hernia repair so insurance will cover most of the surgery expense for the hernia repair and I'll pay the VSG part of it. My insurance does not pay for any weight loss surgery whatsoever. I was completely prepared to go to Mexico but I heard a co-worker had most of her sleeve surgery mostly paid for with a hernia repair and I thought that was awesome! I wasn't sure I had a hernia but I thought it could be a possibility.
After talking to her, I took her advice and called True Results. I am usually against using doctors that advertise on television, but I have 2 kids under the age of 3 and I just didn't have the time to research doctors like I normally would. I spent a ton of time researching the procedure itself, making sure it was safe and the right thing for me and I just got research fatigue! I will say that so far, True Results has been great. They coordinate everything.
I went for an endoscopy to check for a hernia and it was at Surgery Center of Richardson which is the same place I will be sleeved. Dr. Carlton did the endoscopy. That's pretty much why I picked him to do the surgery. One of the nurses that prepped me for the EDG told me that Dr. Carlton took out his gallbladder. That really stood out to me. Those nurses see the doctors at work day in and day out and I think that it says a lot about a doctor's ability when the people that work with them choose them to do their own surgeries. So that's how I picked my doctor! Very scientific, I know.

Now a little about myself. I'm 5'7" and my weight before beginning the pre-op diet was 227. That is also my highest weight. One week out I am 220.
I have a husband and a 1 year old and a 2 year old. I'm doing this for me, first and foremost, but my courage to go through with it comes from them. They deserve more. I have been married for over 10 years. I weighed 130 lbs on my wedding day. I've gained dang near 100 lbs since I got married. I'm so ashamed. My husband is so great and never says a word, but I know he misses the old me. I know I do! I want to do this for my babies too. I feel like I'm parenting from a recliner. I just sit there and my two year old plays at my feet. I want to be able to get on the floor with him and play. I don't want to inwardly groan when I have to get up and fetch a toy or a sippy cup. My kids deserve more than that. I want to travel with my family and show my children the world and right now I just don't have the energy.
I'm trying to stay away from the bad thoughts of what could go wrong and just think of how amazing it will be to be thin again. How it will feel to wake up and feel GOOD. How it will feel to see a stair case and not think twice about climbing it. How it will feel to not worry about being the fattest person in the room. How it will feel to just grab clothes out of the closet and get dressed and not agonize over how nothing fits right and nothing looks good. How good it will feel to go shopping anywhere I want! So I'm just thinking happy thoughts. I've made my decision and I just want to get on the other side of this surgery and START LOSING WEIGHT!

Only 2 people know

Only 2 people know about my WLS, my husband and the co-worker who also recently had WLS. She's very open about her surgery with everyone but has agreed to keep my confidentiality. We'll see how that goes.

I am outgoing but I'm also a very private person. We didn't tell anyone I was pregnant until it was becoming obvious at 5 months. I just didn't want to jinx it. That's partly the case with my being secretive about my surgery, everyone has had a front row seat to my diet fails over the years. And I work with some pretty petty people who spend their spare time cruising FB to find things to make fun of people about. Ugg. If they knew about this, they wouldn't even have to log onto their computer to mock me. I just want to be left alone to go down this path in peace.

I'm so happy to be sleeved!

I'm so happy to be sleeved and I can finally put my energy towards recovering and reaching my goals!

I was told to be at the Baylor Sugery Center at noon yesterday. I was pretty bummed about having such a late start since I'd asked to go early. I was informed that they did the surgeries in order of complexity which makes sense but it was hard to not have any water for 12 hours. I really tried to hydrate with water and G2 the day before but I was still quite thirsty before surgery.
My longest wait was in the waiting area after I signed my life away and paid my $3900 that insurance didn't cover. I wasn't called back for about 45 minutes. Once I was back in the holding area and changed into a gown, things went fairly quick. After I got the IV in place my husband was allowed to come back with me and then I spoke to the anesthesiologist, nurse practitioner and the surgeon. They were all very nice and instilled lots of confidence in me. The whole system seemed like a well-oiled machine. WLS is all they do there and therefore everything was very efficient.

I really wasn't nervous at all which surprised me. I think I did all my fretting while I was researching this whole thing I was very resolved with my decision and confident this was the right thing for me to do. While I was saying bye to my husband the nurse put something in my IV that he said would make me feel like I had 2 shots of tequila. About 10 seconds later everything started swirling around me. The next thing I remember I was in recovery. I never remember seeing the OR, just the hallway.

I woke up to a decent amount of pain and nausea. I was able to verbalized that through the oxygen mask and they administered more pain meds and anti nausea. I would say that took my pain from an 8 to a 7 and barely affected my nausea. So I got round 2 of meds. Finally after round 3 my nausea was under control and my pain was about a 3. Very doable. I was so sleepy bu they wouldn't let me sleep. Instead, they had my up and walking. I was so tired I could barely hold my eyes open. I had 2 nurses holding me and I was pushing my IV stand. Instead of putting me back in bed I was taken to a small room with a recliner chair and they let me put my feet up but I couldn't recline back because I needed to sit upright for the gas. My husband arrived shortly and it was good to see him but he was asking me questions and I just didn't feel like talking yet. He understood.

The post op nurse filled about half a dozen small medicine cups and told me to start sipping. The cool water felt so good in my mouth and I really had no pain when I swallowed. I was in recovery about 4 or 5 hours. Sip, sip, sip. Walk, walk, walk. Doze, doze, doze. I think I got down about 10-12 little cups of water the whole time I was there. I was becoming less groggy as the hours went by, but I was still sleepy. Finally I got my discharge instructions and my husband went to get the car. I had another wave of nausea as I stood up to leave and the nurse gave my 2 pills to put under my tongue. Thankfully they are fast acting and I walked to the car with no problems. I dozed on the 45 minute drive home and was back in the house at 9 pm the same day as surgery. Home sweet home!

Death by a thousand paper cuts

That's what these first couple of days of recovery feel like - death by a thousand paper cuts.
Nausea? Yes. Have it. But not that bad and easily controlled with the medication.
Soreness? Yes! Definitely experiencing a sore abdomen. Nothing worse than I felt with the c-sections I've had. Not too bad and can be relieved with the pain meds.
Getting liquids down? Yes it's tough, but doable. It's just when your kinda nauseous and really sleepy from the trauma and the meds it makes it REALLY HARD.
The combination of all these things makes it very difficult to stay hydrated. Then you feel worse because you're dehydrated and it's just a horrible WLS roundabout that's really hard to get off of.
But it's doable and I'm determined to do it!

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Starting/highest weight: 127
Surgery weight: 217

4 days post op! I'm only taking my pain meds at night now. I started that yesterday, so I only took the meds during the day the 1st and second day post op. Im not pain free, but it isn't pain med kinda pain, just a jab or an ache here and there.
I'm also able to lift my 20 pound baby and get him on the changing table with barely any discomfort. My doc said that lifting wil not tear any stitches and that I can lift what I feel comfortable lifting. I also lifted my 30 pounder onto the changer for a change and it wasn't much worse than lifting the baby. So for all the mommies out there wondering how you can juggle recovery with mommy duty, you can do it!
I'm not doing a very good job getting my liquids in. It's not really because of any pain, the discomfort is minimal, it's because you have to take such small sips that drinking becomes your full time job. I have so many other things going on that sipping every 90 seconds or so every waking hour is just impossible.

Yesterday it took me about 24 hours to get in approximately 24 ounces of water. I also had 2 ounces of Unjury chicken broth.

This morning when I woke I knew I had to do better or a trip to the ER was in my future to get rehydrated. I switched from h2o to Powerade 0. The Powerade actually went down better. I sipped, sipped sipped all day and almost got a 32 ounce bottle down along with about 7 ounces of a Premier protein shake.

Christmas dinner looked so good and of course I had to get it all ready. But it wasn't that bad, really and my husband is already commenting that I look smaller. He said my upper arm looked thinner. I had a tank top on thanks to the balmy weather here in Texas. Then he added that I should be happy because the upper arm is a tough spot for the ladies.
Sigh.
Yes, Hubby. Yes it is. :-)

Down 10 pounds since surgery 1 week ago today!

Highest weight: 227
Surgery weight: 217
1 week post op: 207

That's right! 10 whole pounds in one week! I resisted weighting myself until this morning and I must say I blinked a few times to make sure what I was seeing was real. As many times as I'd read about other people's week 1 weight loss, you'd think I would be expecting something like that but it still blew me away. Wow! I'm still walking on sunshine!

Today was also my first day back at work. I have a desk job so it wasn't physically exerting but it is mentally challenging and I was worried about lack of concentration due to the severe calorie deprivation. I'm pleased to report I had no trouble doing my work and it was so much easier to sip, sip, sip at my desk as opposed to at home with 2 kiddos that need constant attention. As a result, today I got in 25 ounces of water and 40 grams of protein. Yay!!!! I'm so happy to be building up to my goals. I felt great at work. I took one dose of adult strength liquid Tylenol in the afternoon because my back hurt from hunching over my desk and keyboard but I don't think that was surgery related. My incisions have virtually no pain and I am narcotic free. I really feel great. If I got all my fluids and protein in I think that I would be almost back to 100%. It's only been a week but my recovery has been amazing!

I will say that I did exhibit a strange behavior today. When I got to work I got on my computer and went to the Omaha Steaks website. I'm looking forward soft foods SO much and I have a craving for their marinaded salmon. I haven't had it in years but that's what I'm craving. So I go there to check out the salmon and some other things and I ended up clicking on almost every item they sell, (and they sell a BUNCH of stuff) staring at the pictures and daydreaming about eating and planning on when I could eat it. Before I knew it, 2 whole hours had gone by!!! I spent 2 freaking hours looking at steak and seafood on the Internet!!! It was protein food porn! Is that nuts or what??? I didn't even buy anything! (Yet) So obviously I've got to get my protein intake up to 60 grams a day or I might end up eating my computer!!!

Other than that, not much else going on. I'm still sleeping in the recliner. It's just more comfortable and I like my head elevated because of the gas. This recliner was awesome when I was in my last trimester with both my pregnancies and now with the surgery. It's not the most fashionable piece of furniture in the house, in fact I think they're all usually pretty ugly, but it has given me hundred of hours of peaceful sleep I otherwise would not have gotten in a conventional bed. I'm so glad I opted for the rocking recliner instead of a glider when I was expecting. It's so much more useful!

Thanks so much for sharing this awesome experience with me. I'll update again soon!

Weeks 2 & 3 weigh in

Height 5'7"
Starting weight 227 Size 20W
Surgery weight 217
Post Op week 1 207
Week 2 205
Week 3 203 Size 18W

Week 4 weigh in

Week 3 Post Op 203
Week 4 Post Op 200

Sooooo close to seeing that beautiful 1 in the first spot on the scale, but I'll have to wait another week to see it. But after losing 2 pounds a week for a couple of weeks, I'll take the 3 pound loss. I'm very happy with that.

My recovery has been very swift. I feel good. As good as before surgery. I'm waiting for an increase in energy that I've read others experience but I think I'll have lose some more weight before that happens.
I can eat anything I want. Nothing bothers me. I had a 3 ounce filet mignon last night, salmon tonight with a little salad (can you tell I finally ordered From Omaha Steaks?). It's true that when you can only fit a few ounces in your stomach you become a lot pickier about what you put in there. I want good quality meat and seafood because each bite is precious.

I get hungry more often than I anticipated, about every 2 or 3 hours. And when I get hungry, I'm HUNGRY. I'm hoping that it's because I'm not doing a good enough job with my liquids in yet. I've determined that I'm a guzzler and I don't care for sipping. However, I can take 2-3 drinks in a row now which is very nice. If I get this hungry this often when my restriction is less in the coming months and years, I'm in big trouble. I'm a little worried about that but I'm just trying to stay with the program and keep my eye on the prize.

I lost my 2 Year old!

Week 5 post op weigh-in 197

I'm down another 3 pounds this week and I'm super happy about it. I'm finally under 200 pounds! I hope to never see a 2 in the first spot on my scale ever again.
I've lost a total of 30 pounds which is what my 2 year old weighs. I've lost my 2 year old. It's hard to wrap my mind around that when I look at him and pick him up. Wow! That's A LOT of weight.
57 more pounds to my dream weight of 140. I reserve the right to revise that number, though. The last time I weighed 140 was in 2005. I only have to get into the 150's to be a healthy BMI, but I would like to have some wiggle room. 140 is a vanity number for me. I felt really great at that number.
I'm trying to eat protein and doing pretty good at that. I still start the day off with a protein shake. My treat these past couple of weekends has been a taco. Yummy! I can't get a whole taco down though, so I stop at 3/4. When I want something sweet, I eat a spoonful of peanut butter, a sugar free Popsicle or a orange. It's a great time of year for citrus in Texas.
I'm really enjoying the marinated salmon from Omaha Steaks. I can get 2 meals from one fillet. I also love the mini crab cakes. Really easy to pop a couple in the oven. It feels like you're eating something bad but you really aren't. There's lots of crab meat in there.

Week 6 weigh in

Height 5'7"
Starting weight 227
Surgery weight 217

Week 5 post op 197
Week 6 post op 194.5

2.5 lb loss for week 6! I'm very pleased. I still haven't started working out yet. I need to rejoin the gym and start lifting weights to minimize the appearance of loose skin.
I make myself one protein smoothie in the morning with spinach, blueberries, strawberries, 1/3 banana, and a couple of pieces of frozen pineapple with one scoop of Isopure unflavored protein powder and some almond milk. Other than that, I get all my protein from food.
I feel great. I only weigh in once a week. I'm happy to not to have given in and weigh everyday and obsess on natural fluctuations of weight that occur. I've been there, done that. I'm really trying to shed all my bad behavior from past dieting. I'm not perfect, but I'm trying!

Weeks 7 & 8

Week 7 192.5
Week 8 191.5

One pound loss this week. It's totally my fault. I slowed up on protein shakes a few days this week. Normally I have one in the morning. I missed the past 3 or 4 days. When I don't start off with protein I feel hungrier all day. It's like I'm chasing that protein and I never feel full, so I graze.
It was also Valentine's Day yesterday. There was lots of candy in the house. Chocolate. And I had it out on the counter. I'd grab a few M & Ms thinking, it's just 2! But it adds up.
And as long as I'm confessing, I also ate pizza. Big fumble! I can eat 2 pieces of thin crust off a medium minus the out edge of the crust. That's a lot. That's real bad. I'm ashamed. Boo!
So all in all, I'm pleased I lost at all this week. I'm going to do better. I don't want to fall back on old habits. I don't feel good after I eat that crap anyway. It's just not worth it.

Week 9 weigh in

Week 9 189

I lost 2.5 pounds this week! Im thrilled. I really tried to stick to the plan after my poor showing in week 8. I did a fairly good job of staying away from simple carbs.
We ate out a couple of times. I got the lettuce wraps from Pei Wei. It made 4 meals for me. It was delicious and healthy. We also had Mexican food. Fajitas. I only ate about 1/3 of a tortilla. It's not worth it. It takes up too much room. I like just mixing the meat and peppers with cheese and a little sour cream and guacamole. I sprinkled a little Spanish rice on there (like a spoonful) for a little starch and it was delicious. I did have about 3 chips and salsa and about half a dozen chips with queso. I'm a Texan and I REFUSE to live without chips and queso! That is a life not worth living!!! Lol! But I did it in moderation and the tortilla chips were really thin, so that helped.

Weeks 10 & 11

Week 10 186 Size 16
Week 11 185

I'm really happy with the past 2 weeks loss. I'm particularly thrilled with losing one pound during week 11 because I was on vacation. I lost a pound on vacation!!! It's incredible.

We went to Mexico and stayed at a beach resort. I did well with my eating but I drank A LOT of calories. I had 2 or 3 beers every day. I know, I'm a bad girl, LOL. But I can't imagine going to a Mexican beach and not having a yummy Modelo with lime (or Tecate...or Dos XXs...they're all great). However, the worst thing I consumed was a Mud Slide. Every day. Talk about calories! But it was delicious. I don't regret it. This is life and I want to enjoy it. I did a good job of avoiding fried food and simple carbs and I was pretty active. We walked a lot and there is no sitting still with 2 small children in or near water (or any other place for that matter).

I was a lot more comfortable on the plane. I had more room and my seatbelt wasn't maxed out all the way at the end of the strap. I was also more comfortable in my bathing suit - physically and mentally. My thighs didn't rub together (as much) and it was so much easier to move around. I didn't think everyone was looking at me thinking how big I was. I just blended in. It was nice.
I was also a cheap date on this trip. We ordered room service for all our breakfasts and dinners. The portions were generous and my husband and I just shared an entree and we're both satisfied.
See? The surgery is already starting to pay for itself!

Week 12

Week 12 184

One pound loss this time. I was hungry this week. I grazed a lot. I think I only had one protein shake all week. It's really stupid of me because I know what I need to do to stay on track. It was hard because I was home with a sick kid, but still...

I'm committed to doing better this week. I made a double batch of green smoothie Sunday night, divided it into 2 travel mugs and froze them. I then move one to the fridge to thaw overnight so it's ready to go the next morning. It's easy and if nothing else, makes me feel better about myself.
I'm really shocked at how hungry I am. I read a lot about your hunger disappearing after surgery. Mine never did. I know that increasing my water intake would probably help this, but water, which I once loved and chugged, is hard for me to get down now. I'm gonna try Crystal Light and see if that helps.

Week 13

Week 13 182

2 pound loss! At 13 weeks out, I don't think I can ask for much better than a 2 pound loss. That's 45 pounds total.

I concentrated on having a protein shake in the morning at least 3 mornings. Not great, but better than the week before. It helps.
.
People are starting to comment about my weight loss. When they ask what I'm doing I say that I am cutting out simple carbs.

I just realized that I have lost over 50% of my excess body fat if my goal weight is 140. That's a pretty good feeling.

Week 14

Starting weight 227
Surgery weight 217
Week 14 178

So a four pound loss sounds good, right? I wish I could take credit for it by saying did everything right this week, but that's not the case. I was ravaged by food poisoning. It was 12 hours of hell followed by another day of recovery where I wasn't eating or drinking much of anything.

So at best it was a 4 lb loss the HARD HARD way, and at the worst, is just a product of dehydration that will correct itself with weight gain next week when I weigh again. I refuse to break my weigh only once a week rule because I know that if I do, then that's would be it and I'd weigh all the time and obsess on the numbers. I'm very happy and proud that I have not been a slave to the scale thus far so I want to keep it that way even under "special circumstances" like being ill.

My new favorite food item this week is the Sargento's Balanced Breaks. They are so good and satisfying. They are individually packaged servings of cheese and almonds (or cashews) with dried fruit. 7 grams of protein and 180 calories. I love the portion control of the single servings. I find that when I finish one, I could eat more, but feel satisfied after a moment or two. I also find that I don't have to wait 30 minutes to drink after consuming one which is nice. I can have a few sips of something and feel fine. I fantasize about how good it would taste with a glass of red wine. Yum.

Week 18

Week 18 174

So it's a 4 pound loss in 4 weeks. I'm pleased with that. Of course, I went up a pound for week 15 because week 14 was a false weight from being sick and dehydrated. So I feel like I've made more progress than just a pound per week.
On top of getting sick a month ago with a stomach virus, I also got the flu last week. I got to the Dr really quick and my recovery time was only a few days. Thank God. I'll for sure get the flu shot next year. This year is the first I've missed in YEARS. Never again.
But the funny thing is is that I I really shrunk my stomach when I was ill. I can't eat near what I could a few weeks ago. I'm pretty happy about that. I thought I could eat more than I perceived other people post-op could. So now I feel like I'm more in line with other sleevers regarding my food portions. So I guess there's a silver lining to getting sick!

Week 25 165 Size 12

I'm averaging a little more than a pound loss a week and I'm thrilled. I went on vacation for 10 days and lost 2 pounds. How can that be??? I ate what I wanted and drank beer and high calorie coffee drinks. I almost feel guilty but I'm loving it.
I'm wearing clothes that I haven't been able to fit in in 8 or 9 years. They are so dusty from just hanging there all this time. I'm moving through the sizes so quick that I don't have time to properly process my closet. So I have a hard time finding things that fit even though I held on to all these smaller sizes they are up high and out of reach. And what to do with these sizes that I'm moving out of? Should I save some of my favorites in case I gain? What weight will I land at? These are all pretty awesome problems to have, I must admit.
I'm happy with how I look for the most part. However, I would still like to lose 20 more pounds. It just such a nice feeling to feel attractive again. I missed that so much.

Week 31

Week 31 161 lbs. Size 12

My weight loss has slowed to less than a pound a week. I havent been following the plan so I'm not surprised. If I recommitted myself, I would lose weight faster, I'm sure.

Week 38

Starting weight 227
Current weight 154.5

Size 10

At week 38 I am finally in the healthy BMI range!!! This is a hugh deal and I'm so happy. This is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I'm healthy and I think I'm a better wife and mom because of it.

It's kinda crazy that I'm still losing weight because I'm not really trying. My protein shake intake has dwindled to one or two a month. I pretty much eat whatever I want like pizza and burgers but certainly not all the time. I do seek out protein and discard the top bun of a burger or sandwich. If I eat chips I try to eat ones with protein like Beanitos or lentil crackers. But it's so nice to be able to eat unhealthy food occasionally and not feel guilty about it and know people aren't looking at me and judging me for what I'm eating. I think I actually enjoy food more now than ever before because of that. It's incredible.
Dr. Chad Carlton, The Nicholson Clinic

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